Thursday, February 24, 2011
When Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril had its Grand Opening at Disneyland Paris July 30, 1993, the least we can say is that the weather - or the gods? - were not on the side of Georges Lucas and Philippe Bourguignon, at that time DLP CEO. An incredible storm happened during the opening celebration with such heavy rains that Lucas probably still remember it.
DLP Youtube channel had the good idea to put online recently the video of this Grand Opening, so those of you who were not there will be able to see this memorable celebration.
Those of you who have been to DLP know that there is only ONE temple in the Indy attraction but, as reproduced page 138 of my Disneyland Paris book, a WDI rendering of the Temple of péril on the top of that page show TWO temples instead of one. Does this means that WDI originally envisioned to build two temples instead of one only?
As two temples are indeed clearly visible on that rendering it's because WDI imagineers did envisioned to build two temples. However, it seems that it is only after the opening of the first temple that they began to really work on a new temple addition. Why? because from the day Georges Lucas opened officially the attraction the ride was an instant hit but had a big hour capacity problem. And of course, the best way to resolve this problem would have been to build...a second temple!
So, in Glendale, Imagineers thought seriously about building another temple and a model was built. The new temple would have joined the first temple at a 90 degrees angle. Imagine a "L" letter upside down, the vertical part of the letter being the first temple and the horizontal part being the new temple. However, there would have been no link between the two coaster tracks. Instead, the imagineers had designed two totally different coaster tracks for both temples, with the possibility for the guests to board either the first or the second temple.
Another interesting point in this second temple that never was concept was that WDI imagineers were not sacrifying the space to eventually build the big Indiana Jones Aventure ride in the future. In fact, if my memory is right, one of the "towers" of the second temple would have been the entrance for the future Indiana Jones Adventure attraction.
As we know this second temple was never built and the main reason why, as usual with DLP, was - guess what? - money! At the end of the 1990's Disneyland Paris was in serious trouble financially speaking and the park's management choose the option to add capacity with more seats for each train. They also choose to have the ride going "backward", and indeed it was much cheaper to turn each train than to build a brand new "old" temple!
Is there any luck to see this second temple built in the future? Frankly, i wouldn't bet on it, but who knows, as they say at WDI, "a good idea never die"!
Artwork: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc
Picture and video: copyright Disneyland paris